Meet The Performers

Jennifer Raven
Jennifer Raven, flautist, has played with the Conference of Birds since its inception in 2009, when she was studying for a Masters at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance. Having spent her childhood as a very active member of the Surrey Wildlife Trust, and with a surname like Raven, she fitted right in!

Jenn is also an experienced senior leader and consultant working in music, arts, heritage and sustainability. She is Director of Fairbeats (a music charity working with young refugees and asylum seekers), Deputy Director of Sound Connections (a music education development and consultancy organisation), Head of Youth Outreach for Greener & Cleaner (a ground-breaking sustainability hub in South East London) and a successful consultant specialising in evaluation and youth leadership (her clients include the British Council, English Heritage, Wigmore Hall and Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra).

Liz Cowdrey
Liz Cowdrey, violinist, is music graduate of Manchester University. Liz has combined interest in world music and cultures with a childhood love of chamber music. She was a founder member of world music ensemble Orbestra, with whom she performed throughout Europe, in Colombia and Turkey, and in collaborations with the Brodsky and Emperor string quartets in London's South Bank Centre. She explores folk and gypsy flavours from Eastern Europe with the trio Jubovski.

Liz loves to interact with the elemental presence of birdsong in beautiful venues and natural settings; with the Conference of Birds she has travelled to Brazil via the British Council, researching and promoting links between Amazonian birds, music, and dance, and taken part in performances on birdsong-rich hillside terraces in Tuscany and Andalucia. Her meticulous transcriptions of birdsong mark her commitment to absorbing depths of style and gesture.

Peter Cowdrey
Peter Cowdrey, composer, pianist, and ornithologist won music scholarships to Winchester College and Trinity College Cambridge. He studied composition with Oliver Knussen. He was resident in Polynesia for three years. He then founded the world music group Orbestra, which toured in Europe from Shetland to Bulgaria and in South America, and recorded with Hannibal/Rykodisc. In 1995 he conducted the premiere of his A Garden amidst Flames in Aya Irene, one of Istanbul’s great basilicas; his works have been premiered at Schleswig Holstein Festival, the Royal Albert Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall and Purcell Room. Bremania was commissioned by the BBC Concert Orchestra and premiered in Bucharest.

His one-act opera The Lovely Ladies was performed at Christies in 2010, and at Buxton Opera Festival in 2011. The Mad Duchess was premiered at Boughton House in Northamptonshire with further productions in Norfolk and in London. Click on the link to watch a short dramatic work for childrens’ choir The Death of Hook. Many of his works are inspired by birdsong, and he has led Birdsong and Music walks in many parts of Europe.

As pianist Peter is a member of the trio Jubovski, which plays virtuoso gypsy inspired music from Haydn and Bartok to Transylvanian folk music and improvisation. He has performed Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition live while Russian artist Eugenie Vronskaya reimagined the pictures in real time. ​

Peter's compositions can be heard on his soundcloud page.